slum·​gul·​lion ˈsləm-ˌgəl-yən How to pronounce slumgullion (audio)
: a meat stew

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Slumgullion may not sound like the most appetizing name for a dish, but that's part of its charm. The word's etymology doesn't necessarily do it any favors: while the origins of slumgullion are somewhat murky, the word is believed to derive from slum, an old word for "slime," and gullion, an English dialectical term for "mud" or "cesspool." The earliest recorded usages of slumgullion, including one from Mark Twain's Roughing It (1872), refer not to a stew but a beverage. The sense referring to the stew debuted a few decades later, and while there is no consensus on exactly what ingredients are found in it, that's the slumgullion that lives on today.

Examples of slumgullion in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Remarkably, the slumgullion that Morton thickened through 3 2/3 innings included just one hit. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, 10 June 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'slumgullion.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


perhaps from slum slime + English dialect gullion mud, cesspool

First Known Use

1890, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of slumgullion was in 1890


Dictionary Entries Near slumgullion

Cite this Entry

“Slumgullion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

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